I was inspired the other day by a fellow mummy blogger who said when her little one got up at 6.30am the other day she set him to work with a papier maché letter 'H', some glue and a torn up Boden catalogue. An hour later she uploaded a photo of a beautifully decoupaged 'H' to hang in his bedroom. In contrast, when Isla wakes up at 6.30am on a Sunday exclaiming, "Mummy, its sunny time!" I promptly park her in front of a Peppa Pig DVD for half an hour while I go back to sleep.
So yesterday, when I was in John Lewis shopping for some thank you presents for Isla's nursery carers, I had a brainwave. I had been struggling to find a gift that looked more expensive than it actually was, but even being never knowingly undersold, John Lewis's price tags and the contents of my wallet didn't seem to be seeing eye to eye. And then I remembered Hobbycraft - the answer to every frustrated Blue Peter presenters dream. Two whole floors of wall-to-wall PVA glue, coloured pipecleaners and glitter. Isla and I could make some gifts for just a few pennies, which would be alot more personal than anything shop bought and my guilt would be assauged by spending quality time doing creative play with the wee one.
Thirty minutes and thirty quid later, I was beginning to realise homemade gifts is something of a false economy and the nursery girls would no doubt much prefer some Molton Brown soap than a crappy looking fridge magnet. Much as I like to think of myself as the next Tony Hart, somehow the finished product never quite lives up to the image in my head. Not that that has ever been reason enough to quell my enthusiasm and to this day I still can't understand why Isla's easter bonnet didn't win first prize in the Easter parade. Robbed.
So today, instead of enjoying the sunshine like most, Isla and I were hunched over the table with our papier maché heart-shaped magnets, surrounded by reams of tissue paper, ribbons and glitter. All Isla needed to do was tear up a few bits of tissue paper, stick them on the hearts in a haphazard fashion and job done. But a few mintues later glue was all over the floor, water was all over the table, the carefully torn paper was scrunched up into tiny balls and those few pieces that did make it onto the magnet, were stuck on upside down.
"I know, why don't you watch Peppa Pig for half an hour while I finish these off?" I said. And so for the next half an hour I sat absorbed making shabby chic magnets while Isla sat equally transfixed by Peppa and George jumping in muddy puddles.
I can't understand mothers who are able to sit back and watch while their toddlers stick things the wrong way round and upside down, mix all the paint up so everything ends up brown and exclaim how beautiful it looks when its 'finished'! I would have to be gagged and bound before I could stop myself from putting in my twopence worth. And as for that other mummy blogger - you can't fool me, if your two and half year old created that decoupage materpiece then either he is the next Tony Hart or you are even more of a control freak than me!